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The Delta Variant Pushing the Mask Up Rules

As the Delta variety ravages through the United States, local officials from Los Angeles to Massachusetts are asking Americans to put on masks once more inside. In addition, several counties in California and Nevada are now encouraging all people, whether vaccinated or not, to wear masks in public indoor situations. Yet, in defiance of federal health guidelines, vaccinated people don’t have to follow those protocols in most settings.

The local leaders in at least three more states have reinstated mask mandates, issued facial covering recommendations, or threatened the return of strict public health limits for all residents. Clark County, Nevada, which is home to Las Vegas, strengthened its mask recommendation last week after Covid-19 cases and deaths increased by 50% in the previous week.

According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,599 new illnesses were reported last week, with 33 coronavirus-related deaths. Covid infections are on the rise in the United States after months of decline. According to a CNBC examination of data provided by Johns Hopkins University, new cases increased by 55% from the previous week to an average of 37,000 new cases per day over the last seven days.

The CDC relaxed its Covid rules on masks for fully vaccinated people on May 13, stating they didn’t need to wear them or exercise social distancing in most situations. At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the agency is revisiting its mask, and other public health guidelines as the virus and pandemic evolve, mainly as scientists learn more about the Delta form and how vaccinations fare against it.

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